Newsletter from AFD Board of Directors

WINTER 2015

BOARD MEETING INFORMATION

You are welcome and encouraged to come to AFD Board Meetings. The AFD Board of Directors holds its regular monthly meetings on the 2nd Wednesday at 6:00 pm at the Alfalfa Community Hall, 26155 Willard Road. A working meeting is usually scheduled for the 4th Wednesday at 6:00 pm at the Hall. To thank the Hall, the AFD Board of Directors has provided 10 boxes of kindling and firewood for all of its users to enjoy.

If you have any questions regarding the AFD, feel free to contact one of the members of the Board of Directors. They are:
• Bob Kathman, President (541) 760-0216 blkathman@hotmail.com
• David Warren, VP (541) 610-2999 david@davidlloydwarren.com
• Carolyn Chase, Secretary (541) 312-2600 cchase6132@aol.com
• Rowan Hollitz, Treasurer (541) 306-8996 rhollitz@gmail.com
• Gary Hughes, Director (541) 419-7985 garyhughes2009@live.com

FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Starting a fire district from scratch has become a bigger challenge than any of us realized when we had our first community meeting back in 2012 and the concept was being discussed.

While the fire district is continuing to move forward there are some hurdles that have come into play:
• Recent State mandates require The Fire Station to be considered an “essential facility.” That means it will be used by the community in case of weather or other hazardous conditions. Being an essential facility imposes higher construction standards and accessibility by the public.
• As part of that mandate an independent power source (generator) is required in the event of a major power failure.
• Alfalfa Fire District does not currently have a Fire Chief who would normally be instrumental in planning for a fire station.
• Grant funding has diminished in recent years. Until we own a piece of land and build some equity there are not a lot of lending institutions willing to entertain loan discussions.
• To date, an all-volunteer group has been doing all of the work with generous input and affirmation from the fire communities around the state. Since none of us have done this before there has been a huge learning curve.
• Most districts building a new station already have their personnel, a chief, and their equipment in place.

The Board and the Alfalfa community need to realize we have a long way to go but we are still confident that our goal can be reached. As we continue to progress we will also gain momentum in the community. Some positive events recently that we want to share:
• A $10,000 grant for fire equipment through ODF and the USFS has been obtained. This is a matching grant that allowed us to take credit for over 700 hours of time and 1500 miles of driving which we have put in over the last year. This allowed the district to realize a $10,000 savings to our budget. Selective purchasing and donations may save us another $3000 on this equipment.
• Negotiations for the purchase of the originally proposed building site for the Fire Station were not completed. The Board is actively moving forward on the acquisition of a different piece of property which is more centrally located in the District and has fewer zoning problems. This part of the project is still several months away from completion but it will be a huge step forward once the transaction is complete.
• We are building a strong network of professional assistance from other entities that want to see us succeed. We are also gaining more volunteer help to assist us in the formation process.

As we move forward we will be soliciting additional help that we believe is available within the district. Everyone has something to offer and sooner or later we hope to capitalize on the wealth of talent and resources around us. The strength of a community lies in its volunteers and ability to respond when needed.

BUDGET COMMITTEE
The Budget Committee of the AFD plays a key role in the District’s operations. It decides how much of the District’s funds will be spent on which category of items. Initially, more funds will be spent on acquiring and maintaining fire trucks and other pieces of equipment. Later, funds will be spent on training and equipping the volunteers and operating the equipment. The Budget Committee sets the budget amounts annually for these expenses and reviews expenditures at the end of the year.

Income to pay these expenses comes from tax revenues and grants from a variety of private and public sources.

Members of the committee are selected at large from within the District and serve for a term of three years. There needs to be an equal number of members on the Budget Committee as there are Board members (five). They are: Hubert Bierly, Melodie Holliday, Henry Lewis, Kerry Sohm, and Jerry Clifford. Jerry Clifford has recently moved out of the District and has been replaced by Aurie Salfen, who will complete his term until 6/30/2016. MORE

INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE
The Alfalfa Fire District has a website with more information of general interest. There’s a link to the Firewise Communities Program newsletter which contains valuable information on protecting your home and property from wildfires. Another article has information on how to obtain a green address sign. Get Prepared (under Recent Posts) contains the Deschutes County Evacuation Guide for emergency use. More information will be posted monthly. To access the website, go to AlfalfaFireDistrict.org. .

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